Holiday Mom: Betsy

yhm betsyDear Holiday Child,
I’m so glad to have you join our family today, because it’s one of my favorite days of the year, one when our house is filled to the brim with people who will be delighted to meet you, laugh with you, get to know who you are and share themselves with you. In our home, today is Leftover Party Day!
The stress of Christmas–both the practical details and the fantasies of how it “ought” to be–is over, but sometimes the day after also can be a let down. So years ago we started a tradition of inviting lots of our friends and family (and that includes you!) to bring their leftovers for a giant potluck. The only instructions are that no one is allowed to try to make the leftovers look like anything fancier, because we want this to be all about enjoying each other. Late afternoon everyone starts arriving with casserole dishes with a little bit of sweet potato or green beans left in them, plastic containers with the last few spoonfuls of the cranberry salad or cole slaw, plastic bags of dinner rolls, foil packages with a few slices of ham and turkey, a half box of crackers or an open package of cheese. It all gets squeezed onto our big dining room table along with paper plates and plastic utensils–because we don’t want to be exhausted cleaning up after–and we all dig in, sitting or standing to eat and to visit with each other wherever we can find a spot around the house. No matter how many people come, there’s always more than enough food to go around, and no matter what you eat, I’m sure you’ll find something here that you like. And did I mention the desserts? Yum!
Of course, you’ll have to put up with a little bit of my mom-craziness beforehand as we get the bathrooms cleaned up, bookshelves dusted, floors vacuumed, and the tablecloths and candles out, but I try not to go overboard–with 40 or 50 people here, no one really notices–and it’s worth it for the fun later. If you want to curl up on the sofa for a nap earlier in the day, or lounge in the hammock in the backyard with a good book, or sprawl in the living room enjoying the twinkle of lights and sparkle of ornaments on the tree, that’s just fine; I need some quiet time to recharge too.
It’s hard not to have your own family accept you as the unique, amazing person you truly are, or to be pushed away by people you love, but you are welcome here…welcomed by us, and welcomed by our friends, to whom we’ll be delighted to introduce you. Today is our day for no pretenses and no stress, just laughter and friendship and great leftovers (so much tastes better the next day anyway, right?) and love, and I’m so happy you’re here to share in it all with us!

With love and hugs,

Your Holiday Mom Betsy


  1. Cassidy says:

    Mom –
    The potluck sounds amazing! I agree, the day after Christmas is sometimes pretty dull. I’m honored to spend it with you this year. πŸ™‚
    You holiday child,

    • Betsy says:

      Cassidy, I’m so glad you could join us! More desserts than main dishes at the party this year, but I don’t think any of us minded that, do you? And I really tried to be calm about the cleaning beforehand πŸ˜‰ I hope in the days since then you’ve been able to carry that sense of being welcome and loved with you; I hope that in the year to come you’ll continue to find places like ours, because you are precious and deserve to find people who remind you of that.

    • Betsy says:

      Calil, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourself! I’m still looking for 50% off Christmas or holiday cups for next year’s party, so if you see some, would you pick them up and bring them along then (because no one ever falls off this guest list!)?
      It’s about to be a new year, and I hope that with this new beginning will come friends and family–adopted, if not the one you grew up in–who treasure you and stand with you as you become more and more yourself. It’s not a smooth or easy journey for any of us, but it sure is better when we find companions; may they show up for you in unexpected places.

Comments are closed.